Not emused: fence at Alkimos development hindering wild emus from accessing bush


An emu running along the temporary fence.
An emu running along the temporary fence.

AN emu was seen running back and forth along a construction fence in Alkimos today, weeks after a developer said it would learn to find an alternative route.

The fence was erected when Alkimos Vista partners Lendlease and LandCorp started developing part of their landholding east of Marmion Avenue in September.

The wild emus used to cross the road to move between the Alkimos Waste Water Treament Plant bushland buffer zone and undeveloped land.

Since the clearing works started, residents have reported sightings of the birds running back and forth along the fence, unable to get to the remaining bush east of Marmion Avenue.

Lendlease Communities WA general manager Anthony Rowbottam said the customer service centre received two enquiries from Shorehaven residents in October.

“Our project development manager spoke to one of the residents in detail about our environmental management plan and what to do if she spots emus; the other did not return our call,” he said.

“The fauna management plan for the site doesn’t specify breeds however the plan requires the site to be fenced so fauna cannot enter the area during construction.

“Fencing of the site is also required to ensure that the public is separated from the construction zone.”

An emu running along the temporary fence.

Mr Rowbottam said at the time of previous sightings, two environmental experts advised that the wild emus were moving through bushland in adjacent areas.

“In time they should identify that an obstruction is present and find an alternative route north or south of our site,” he said.

“A 100m section along Marmion Avenue is now being provided to allow emus to freely pass through the site.”

Mr Rowbottam said there was an open 100m section but it was not possible to leave gaps in the fencing due to health and safety requirements.

“We continue to work with the City of Wanneroo on this matter, which relates to the broader Alkimos or Eglinton area, as it continues to be developed into an urban environment,” he said.

In a post on the Alkimos Beach Facebook page, the developer advised that contractor Georgiou had a guard on site who had been opening and closing the fence to allow the emus to pass through.

Mr Rowbottam said people could call civil contractor Georgiou on 0419 805 305.

Signage has been erected in the area advising motorists of emus and an electronic signboard flashes a warning to northbound motorists.

A road sign advising motorists of emus in the area.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions has received some calls about the birds and has been working with the developer and the City since inspecting the fence.

It advises people to call the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055 if they see sick or injured wildlife.

UPDATE, 4.15pm: The City’s community and place director Debbie Terelinck said they were aware of the ongoing issue and working with the department, landowners and developers to identify short and long term solutions.

“These include a security guard on site, the installation of traffic caution signs – as appropriate – and further improvements to the approved vegetation and fauna management plans,” she said.

“The City’s rangers will continue to conduct inspections of the area and respond to public enquiries.”

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